About Urinary Retention

If you’re frustrated by bladder control problems, you’re not alone. Urinary retention and other bladder control problems affect millions of people at some time in their lives. But there are effective treatments. We have used our expertise to develop an innovative treatment for people who have found that the standard therapies do not work well for them.


Urinary retention and bladder problems prevent you from controlling when and how much you urinate. You may find that the flow of urine is weak, or you may have the feeling of not being able to completely empty your bladder. Some people experience a combination of these symptoms.


There are many possible causes of urinary retention. The most common cause in men is an enlarged prostate gland. Sometimes urinary retention can be caused by damage to the nerves and muscles that control your bladder function.


Symptoms of urinary retention can be mild or severe. They include:

  • Weak flow of urine with frequent flow stops
  • Straining to urinate
  • A sense that your bladder is not completely empty after the urine flow stops
  • A delay between trying to urinate and the flow actually beginning
  • Inability to urinate (complete urinary retention).

Risk Factors

Although an enlarged prostate is the most common risk for urinary retention in men, there are many other risk factors, including pregnancy and childbirth, bladder surgery, kidney or bladder stones, prostate or bladder cancer, and diseases that affect the nerves. Also, certain medications can put you at risk.


Talk to your doctor about your symptoms and how they may be affecting your day-to-day life. Your doctor will make a diagnosis based on your symptoms.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 7 Mar 2013

Section Navigation

Additional information

Contact Us

Medtronic International Trading Sàrl
Case postale
Route du Molliau 31
CH-1131 Tolochenaz
work Tel. +41 (0)21 802 70 00
work Fax +41 (0)21 802 79 00